A chiseled chest is almost a necessity if you’re looking to build a stunning physique. You can by no means be flat chested if you’re thinking about going shirtless on the beach. A ripped chest is looked at as a symbol of strength and manhood since a long time.
This is the reason you’ll find people asking you about your max bench. While lifting heavy weights on a bench press is great, you might hit a plateau if you’re not changing up your chest workouts enough.
The mistake most people commit is they do the same chest workout over and over again. This is why their chest doesn’t seem to grow. In words of Arnold, you need to be shocking your pecs in order for them to grow.
Changing the number of reps and sets in your current chest workout is fine but it won’t get you the gains you’re looking for. You need to do the extraordinary to achieve extraordinary results in and outside the gym.
7 Brutal Chest Exercises To Take Your Chest Gains To The Next Level
1. Banded Barbell Chest Press
A normal barbell bench press is fine but the banded barbell chest press is a whole new ball game. This exercise will recruit your core like you could have never imagined. Make sure you have a spotter while attempting this exercise.
You need to have access to resistance bands in order to perform this exercise. Even if your gym doesn’t have them, it’s a worthwhile investment which will pay you dividends in the long run. So, invest in one now. Tip: Leave your ego at the door while performing this exercise.
2. Weighted Chest Dips
This is one of the most badass exercises you’ll ever see. You’ll often see pro athletes performing this exercise in magazines. Depending on the level of badassery you’re aiming for, you can either use a weight belt or chains.
While performing this exercise, maintain a slight angle. This will make sure all the tension is placed on your chest. If you stay straight all the stress will be taken of your pecs and will be put on your triceps.
3. Mechanical Advantage Drop Sets Incline Dumbbell Presses
Upper pecs are a weak muscle group for most people. Incline dumbbell drop sets are an incredibly effective way of exhausting your upper pecs and setting them up for growth. Mechanical advantage technique helps annihilate your upper chest.
In this exercise, start with the incline bench at 45 degrees lifting a weight you can do 12 reps with. After you complete your set, rest for 15 seconds and reduce the incline to 25-30 degrees. Do another 15 reps, rest for 15 seconds and reduce the incline to 10 or 15 degrees and complete your last set.
4. Incline Dumbbell Pullovers
Pullovers help in popping out your chest and developing the V-taper. This is also one of the most underutilized and uncredited exercises. While flat pullovers are good, the incline version of this exercise puts additional stress on your chest and lets you focus on your upper pectoral muscles.
In a cross bench pullover, you might feel like you’re drifting off the bench. This doesn’t happen in the incline pullovers. This helps in setting up a better mind-muscle connection. Getting a spotter in this exercise can help you at the start and end of the sets.
5. Bench Presses With A Pause
Only a few other exercises can add muscle mass to your chest like the bench press. The bench press is a compound exercise. It recruits multiple joints and muscles. Most people cheat at this exercise by either reducing the range of motion or bouncing the barbell of their chest.
This variation of the bench press removes the possibility of this happening. On the eccentric part of the movement, hold and pause the barbell an inch above your chest for a couple of seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat until failure.
6. Cable Flyes Without Handles
You need to have an isolation exercise in your chest workout to get your chest gains to the next level. Cable flyes is a great exercise to completely isolate your pecs and exhaust your muscle fibers.
In this variation, remove the handlebars and hold the cable at the plastic balls just above the hooks. Your palms need to be facing down while you do the movement. Squeeze and contract your pectoral muscles at the top of the movement. Removing the handlebars increase the range of motion.
7. Iso-Tension Contractions
Arnold brought this technique to the limelight. No matter which body part he was training, he used to end his training sessions with an intense session of posing and flexing. Doing this got extra blood into his muscles.
I pose my chest by doing the side chest pose where the rib cage is fully expanded with the sucked in. I do this from waist both sides. Then I squeeze and crimp the pecs as hard as I can from all angles to bring out the height, thickness, and shape. This not only gives me better control of these muscles, but it also brings out all the veins and muscular striations, which improves the definition.